Trouble on the Road

December 4, 2007
Day 797

El Cocuy National Park Trip Day 1

I was up early this morning and got a taxi to the bus station in time to catch the 6:00 AM bus to Malaga. It was a long ride over beautiful terrain where we constantly headed up and down the area's peaks and valleys. We stopped for breakfast which normally means rice, eggs, and fried beef for the locals, but I got a few arepas (heated pieces of thick bread), and to my surprise, I felt a sensation I had not experienced for several days: slight hunger.

We got to Malaga a bit later than expected, but I was still making good enough time to make it to the park tonight. I shared a taxi with a few locals to Capitanejo, but that's where the fun ended. In Capitanejo, I learned that a landslide had made the road going forward impassible. To add insult to injury, this just happened yesterday, so if I hadn't gotten sick, I would have made it through on the cheese truck two days ago. I could either cut my losses and head back to Bucaramanaga or make a major detour by taking a different road around the damaged section. I chose the longer route.

I took another bus to the small town of Soata, but that was it. There were no more buses today. The damaged road only cost me a day so far, but I'll probably have to take the same detour back. So after thirteen hours on buses, I made it a grand total of forty-five miles from Bucaramanga as the crow flies. The only consolation was that I was able to eat a plate of lentils and rice for dinner tonight, my first full meal in four days.

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